Tag Archives: Scottsdale Community College

Can You Still See The Box?

Arizona LeadershipBy Kim Hanna, Class 27
Economic Vitality, City of Scottsdale

The Class 27 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s core program. The program informs, inspires and empowers leaders to champion and strengthen the interests of the community. Scottsdale Leadership is an Arizona Leadership Program.

The only box I see is the one the cupcakes were delivered in.

It seems like weekly I hear the phrase to be creative and “think outside the box”. Last week at Scottsdale Leadership orientation day we were told to “get outside the box.” I thought—OK, I can do that.  But, then it was followed up with, “…and if you can still SEE the box you’re still way too close to the box!” That was my first AH-HA moment!

During the day, one of the speakers, Ian Percy, shared his view on leadership.  He asked us if we were sucking energy or adding energy in situations and said in life there are infinite possibilities—focus on those, don’t focus on the problems. Problem solvers are maintenance people but leaders create a world that no one else sees.  He said they see things other people can’t see. About that time it was all I could do to contain myself.  At first I thought the word choice was funny.  Then I thought a little bit more and suddenly got inspired.

I thought…can you even imagine having to get up and turn the channel with a knob on a TV?  Talking on a phone that has to be hooked in to a wall?  Having to light a candle to see in the dark?  Looking back, those practices were normal and accepted. Then I thought…can you even imagine what it was like to be the person who was thinking so far outside the box that they imagined a TV remote, cordless phone and electricity?

Suddenly, my mind became flooded with possibilities.  If it is true that you only use 5 percent of your brain to make conscious decisions, what the heck are we doing with the other 95 percent?  Is the subconscious really the best place for that 95percent–I think not!

Then the big question: “What’s inside of you that hasn’t seen the light of day yet?”

My answer: “Ouch!  What am I waiting for?”

I continued to ponder over the next few days.  I reflected on a diversity training course I experienced a few years earlier.  At the end of the multi-day class, the instructors gave all of the class participants candy suckers—all of them were green.  I immediately thought to myself…yuk…I hate lime.  Much to my surprise, the green sucker was not lime; instead it was one of my favorite flavors…watermelon.  OH MY!  Didn’t anything sink in during the last couple of days?  That exercise demonstrated I still had preconceived notions.  Hopefully, I have grown over the past few years.  Let’s see what today brings with my new adventure with Scottsdale Leadership.

Our orientation day was sponsored by and hosted at Scottsdale Community College where we were able to tour various programs, including the culinary program and yes, Cupcakes were included.   

Share this if the only box you see is the one the cupcakes were delivered in.

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Welcome to Class 26

Jenifer Dymek
Sr. Advertising Strategist, Salt River Project

The Class 26 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s core program. The program informs, inspires and empowers leaders to champion and strengthen the interests of the community.

The first day of Scottsdale Leadership’s Class 26 was like the first day of school. Maybe it was the excitement of being on a school campus (our first class was held at Scottsdale Community College), or maybe just the chance to meet other people ready to embark on an adventure. A new place where we’ll all be pushed to be better, and stretch a little higher. The hum of the room and the excitement touched everyone, from members of the class to the alumni and staff.

So what makes up this class of leaders? In the amazing 90-second commercials, we found out that we have poets and football fanatics. A crockpot chef and a police chief named Jeff. An amazing baker, a nail polish fanatic, a ringside announcer and animal lover. Still remember what makes Nick tick? Lawyers and CPA’s and realtors, oh my! A marathon runner and rock and roll singer, this class is loaded with leadership ringers!

There are so many to name, and so many new faces to get to know. This class is filled with amazing and interesting people and we’ve only seen the very tip of the iceberg.

But what is a leader? Former Scottsdale city manager Dick Bowers shared his experience and inspirational thoughts:

  • There is nobility in public service
  • You can make change happen despite your surrounding situation
  • Discuss the un-discussables
  • Create tension
  • Controversy is a seed to grow
  • The relationship with the person directly below you is less important than the one with the person several layers below you
  • Keep your vision within people’s grasp

In the words of our Scottsdale Leadership president Brian Bednar, it’s our time to be present and take advantage of this amazing opportunity.

Good luck to all!

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Scottsdale Leadership Class XXV Pays it Forward

PET Pantry

 Congratulations to P.E.T. Pantry by team Reigning Cats & Dogs

As part of their nine-month community leadership program, members of Scottsdale Leadership’s Class XXV formed six teams with the goal of developing a community service project that would provided them with hands-on experience giving back to the community. On April 15, the teams presented their projects during Project Pay It Forward Day at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library auditorium.

A panel of judges selected P.E.T. Pantry (Pets Eat Too) by team Reigning Cats & Dogs as the winning project. As a result Concerned Citizens for Community Health (CCCH) will receive a $2000 donation.

P.E.T. Pantry keeps pets with their owners during times of financial crisis through a collaborative effort between Vista del Camino Food Bank, Animal Guardian Network and Scottsdale Community College. This project embraces public awareness, direct donations and practicality for food banks.

For more information visit: http://scottsdalepetpantry.org/.

Team members: Ken Brooks, Ruth Ingall, Valarie Miceli, Scott Popp, Kelly Ries, Lisa Johnson Stone and Cynthia Wenstrom

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Music enthusiasts invited to join advisory board

By Kimberly Crowther, Class 22
Communications Director, DC Ranch Community Council

Are you a sucker for sonatas? Do you tap your toes to the rhythm of a drum beat? Are you looking for ways to get involved in the community? If you answered yes, then this opportunity will be music to your ears. Dr. Christina Novak, Class 23 and Music Department Chair at Scottsdale Community College (SCC) is recruiting volunteers to join the SCC Music Advisory Board.

“Candidates should have a love of music and the arts, a strong interest in education and a desire to connect with the Scottsdale Community,” said Novak.

The board bolsters community awareness about the SCC music program and organizes special events to raise funds for student scholarships and instruments. Earlier this year, for instance, the board participated in the planning of the SCC annual Faculty Valentine’s Day Dinner and Concert and the silent auction for the annual SCC Cabaret, a musical theater review. The board raised $2,000, which will be awarded to music students in the fall.

Since she began playing piano at the age of six, music has been a way for Novak to express herself and to connect with others. Being a part of the SCC Music Advisory Board offers a similar experience. In addition, board members are rewarded by knowing they are helping music students fulfill their dreams and enriching music education in Scottsdale.

“We have a great board made up of Scottsdale Leadership graduates and SCC music faculty. It is a very enthusiastic group and we welcome new members,” said Novak.

SCC Music Advisory Board meetings are held monthly September through April. If you are interested in learning more, contact Dr. Novak at chirstina.novak@sccmail.maricopa.edu.

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Developing vision like a tango, but it takes more than two

By ROBERT LEGER,  Class 21
Opinions editor of the Scottsdale Republic and Phoenix Republic and an assistant editorial page editor of the Arizona Republic.

The first question answered itself:

“Does Scottsdale have a vision for its future?” the audience member asked a panel that had spent nearly an hour discussing vision and how a community develops one.

The city hasn’t been through a formal visioning exercise in nearly two decades. City staffers have sought residents’ thoughts about specific areas, such as the Airpark or downtown, but not for the city as a whole. No one has updated the vision adopted in the early 1990s that, among other things, called for creating a large Sonoran mountain preserve.

Does the city have a map to its future?

“Yes,” replied former City Manager Dick Bowers, who moderated the discussion. “Whether it’s in concert with the views of citizens is a question you have to answer.”

If he was tempted to leave it at that, the temptation didn’t last long.

“Vision is not something that seven people sit in a room and create. It’s not only the loudest voice,” Bowers said. “Vision comes only from conversation with the entire body that will carry it out. In my view, no, there is not a clear vision. It’s up to you to determine what it should be.”

Many in the crowd at the Scottsdale Leadership community forum left ready to do that. Board members said they will bring up the idea of promoting a vision process at their next meeting. Scottsdale Community College President Jan Gehler offered her campus as “neutral ground for difficult conversations.”

Here’s hoping the passions of the morning don’t fade away. Every community needs to regularly re-examine its goals. Scottsdale is due.

To read the rest of Robert’s blog on the Arizona Republic’s website click here.

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20/20 Perfect Vision: It’s Possible!

By SUZANNE PAETZER, Class 24
President- TriAra Consulting, LLC

20/20 Vision: Our Citizen’s Prescription for the Future – Scottsdale Leadership’s annual community forum sponsored by Scottsdale Republic/The Arizona Republic, APS and Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors.

Your vision is a primary sensory source – taking in your surroundings and making key decisions.  Quickly your eyes note the meaning of facial expressions in a conversation.  Colors and textures in nature are discerned. Vast publications of knowledge are absorbed. BlackBerry’s and TV’s send us countless images that influence our lives.

Your vision is not something to take for granted. It creates wholeness in your world and isn’t seeing 20/20 the ultimate goal?

On Thursday, April 29th a distinguished group of community leaders challenged the audience at Scottsdale Leadership’s  7th Annual Community Forum to create a vision for Scottsdale.  Scottsdale hasn’t set sight on defining a citizen-driven vision for more than 20 years. What do our citizens want for the future?

The panel, facilitated by Dick Bowers, former Scottsdale city manager, consisted of: Jane Rau, co-founder of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, sharing an activist’s vision; Charlie Smith, former Scottsdale council member, providing a hindsight perspective; Peter Kasperski, owner of Cowboy Ciao and Kazimierz, lending a future perspective; and Trevor Barger, founder Espiritu Loci, highlighting the key components of vision.

What is Vision?
I view the path of vision like a tree.  At the very root of vision is just one idea.  Then vision takes on an element of natural growth developing one branch.  As ideas are nurtured, more branches of new ideas stem from conversations that feed the knowledge tree.  Eventually, one idea has grown and taken shape and now becomes a solid foundation upon which more growth occurs.  Sometimes the final vision is very different than the very first idea that planted the seed of thought for growth.  Vision grows naturally and can’t be forced.

Trevor Barger resonated with my tree vision when he talked about a community vision and its premise of starting with a believable idea created by looking in the present with passion to the future.  We must see the potential of an idea but not merely change an existing issue.  We need to be bold about the vision of future potential of an idea.  You know when a vision has taken hold when it culminates by influencing and inspiring people to take action because the vision touches their soul.  Just like the deep roots of a magnificent tree firmly planted, vision inspires and takes hold on solid footing and branches out and grows naturally.

It’s Time Scottsdale
There is no citizens-driven vision for Scottsdale.  We need to know where we want to go or we will never get there. A small group of seven, who in the past decided to increase the size of Scottsdale’s original one square mile, made a difference!

There are countless examples of people from the past who said, “Why not _______?” Fill the blank in with build a stadium, create an Old Towne, preserve the desert, etc.  You can make a difference.  We must gather as citizens of Scottsdale and explore the vision we want.

The Challenge to Scottsdale Leadership, Class 24
As a member of the soon-to-graduate Class 24, I propose a challenge to my esteemed classmates.

We talked about the need for a vision in Scottsdale during one of our classes.  It was even proposed by Mike Seiden, Core Program Vice-Chair for Class 25, we abandon our six community projects and all focus on creating the groundswell for Scottsdale’s vision.  Well, we all participated in six amazing and impactful projects that touched the community in so many ways.  Thank you Scottsdale Leadership for having the foresight to not heed our plea, for our projects changed our lives and impacted many others.

So, now that we are a united force of 42 with community presence, I challenge my classmates to join in the offer from Dr. Jan L. Gehler, President of Scottsdale Community College, to meet at her college and start the dialogue and groundswell for our community vision.

We can make a difference even if it is only a small group of seven.  We may not know “how” it will turn out or even “what” the vision is but isn’t that exciting?  What we do know is that it will be revealed to us as we share ideas and perspectives, conduct difficult conversations and envelope it in courageous leadership.  The time is now.  And, it’s up to us.  What better way to serve our community than to help create its future!

If you’re in, let me know.  I’m willing to take the first step to get it started with you.  Let us take our time, talents, passion, pride and leadership and create a legacy for Scottsdale.  If we don’t, who will?

“Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road.”
Dag Hammarskjold (1905-1961, Statesman and Secretary-General of the United Nations).

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